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Remote Sensing in Australia’s Uranium Exploration Essay


Introduction

Remote sensing is the new phenomenon that is getting more preferred and being used in some countries around the world. Ideally, remote sensing involves obtaining or rather sourcing information about areas, minerals and objects of various natures from a distance (Prost 2014).

Project Summary

The project summarily intends to look at the aims that are brought forth by this study. The background and other relevant topics and sub-topics as shall be seen later in the project.

Aims

Remote sensing is relatively a new concept in technology that is more inclined to the mining sector. This study will look into the use of remote sensing and GIS ins exploration of uranium. It solely, determines the manner in which remote sensing and enriched data can be of great benefit to uranium exploration within the Yeelirrie region in Australia. The project aims at reviewing the current processing techniques and develop new methods that would assist in the exploration process. Coming up with a new way of assessing the efficacy of the exploration techniques can help ascertain the accuracy of the new methodology that would get presented forth. (Dennis 2012).

Background

Since the year 2004, the prices of Uranium have increased fourfold (Robinson 2009). There is an ever-increasing demand for Uranium, especially in nuclear reactor stations and companies in countries (mainly developed) across the whole world. In China, for instance, there are 66 nuclear reactors that are currently under construction, this aspect notwithstanding, the prices of Uranium are still going high.

China’s rapid involvement in increasing the production of Uranium in the country has sparked an inevitable impetus for a more vibrant and increased Uranium exploration in the whole world. The growing demand and the rising prices for this particular commodity get fanned by the global shift of preference of energy sources. The world now prefers cleaner burning fuel devoid of excessive Carbon IV Oxide.

Uranium exploration in Australia

The process of exploring minerals is not easy. It requires a compilation of massive data. A variety of compiled data through the process of remote sensing helps to ascertain the amount of extractable Uranium ore. It is fundamental to incorporate new types of data that are presented by GIS to help reduce uncertainty in the analysis of potential extracting sites (Savinelli 2012).

GIS Data

Uranium exploration chiefly involves the analysis of GIS data. The compilation of seismic data and water flow data helps analysts to determine whether or not Uranium mineralization is possible in a particular region. GIS data has been for a long time, collected by ground checks. This technique is not devoid of a certain degree of uncertainty; thus enriched GIS data would lead to increased efficiency and certainty (Clarke 2011). Here is where, remote sensing technology, particularly gamma spectroscopy and Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) infrared data are the two primary techniques will provide the much-needed enrichment.

Remote sensing

Remote sensing techniques are used to collect an array of data by using sensors. These sensors may get mounted on aircrafts, car roofs, and earth-orbiting satellites. There are some sensor types employed in the data collection process; each has their ranges of spatial resolution and spectral sensitivity. Aster data has helped differentiate clay alteration patterns and has effectively helped to locate copper and gold deposits (Prost 2014).

Applications of remote sensing in Uranium Exploration

Research points out that there is a very strong link between the radioactive isotope content and mineralogy this, in essence, is what remote sensing entails (Prost 2014).

Infrared data, or thermal radiation, is used to detect the temperature variations. For mineral exploration, it collects information about the surface temperature and thermal properties of rocks and soil. Helps greatly in identifying the materials that are being explored. Dennis (2012) points that infrared data was used in the XIangshan uranium deposit of Jiangxi Province to locate the gold and Uranium.

Significance and innovation

Significance

The vital aspect of this research is that it will allow for further research that will help enrich the GIS database. When GIS gets enhanced through the advent of technology, exploration of uranium in Australia will improve significantly. GIS data interfaced with proper and sophisticated remote sensing is bound to improve the effectiveness of Uranium exploration and mining in Australia (Prost 2014).

Innovation – new techniques

Innovation is bound to improve upon enrichment of GIS data and remote sensing. It is bound to lead to more worthwhile projects and more funds being pumped into this noble means of exploration. It results in innovation and invention of better and more powerful machines that can get used in the exploration of minerals such machines include; powerful satellites and aircrafts that can help cover wider areas with much specificity and accuracy.

Economic benefits

At a lower cost, Australia will be able to continue to provide uranium to help meet the world’s growing demand for cleaner energy while providing economic support to the local and national economies (Dennis 2012). The discussed techniques will also be able to help locate the type of minerals such as gold, lead, copper and ilmenite.

Academic benefit

The project will be of immense importance to the academic realm. The main reason for this is that it provides an indispensable information bank for future research and studies that are in line with the issue of remote sensing and GIS.

Methodology

The introduction to the use of advanced remote sensing is the new method that gets direly needed in mining companies in Australia. Although the benefits of using this method may take some time to get acknowledged, it is an entirely worthwhile methodology (Hughes 2011). The method would see it being rolled down on a pilot testing first before being fully implemented. It is to ensure that the system development are thoroughly tested and corrected before it becomes operational.

Steps in the pilot change over

  1. Piloting the trial version.
  2. Documentation of the new system.
  3. Implementing the new system.
  4. Evaluation and monitoring.

The new system is introduced for a trial period while the old system is kept running. Tests are carried out, and possible errors and omissions remain duly corrected. If all the tests are passed, the new system gets documented and inputted with the necessary data and then fully implemented. Also, this ensures the consideration of end user requirements. After that, the new system takes to be evaluated and monitored in a constant manner.

Ground checks and other methods that remained used in the past and are still being used in the present have immense shortcomings. With that stated, it does not mean that the methods were a thorough failure or unworthy, it is just that it involves more financial risk, the level of uncertainties is also of unprecedented levels.

The past methods that do not involve remote sensing and better use of GIS method is not an entirely rewarding method. It is for this reason that this project seeks actually to analyze and thoroughly evaluate the possible alternatives that can be used to better the exploration process and while at it, reduce uncertainty and financial risk. The advanced methodology is the way to go for an exploration of Uranium and other applications that shall be deemed necessary by the mining sector in the country.

Approach and training

The following are the main tasks that are of significance in achieving the aims of this particular project

  1. Analysis of remote sensing techniques focusing on the enrichment of data to better the process and GIS as a whole.
  2. Implementation of relevant techniques for further analysis.
  3. Set up of an independent test of producing models.
  4. Comparison of the processing techniques.
  5. Documentation of the workflow and implementation.

Analysis of remote sensing techniques

This task will ideally consist of a detailed literature review and set up of a list of techniques that are currently being studied. Each stated technique will be reviewed on the basis of accuracy and performance as stipulated by the research paper. The performance ought to get standardized in a proper manner and also get compared against other techniques. After a rigorous analysis, a good list of techniques will be brought forth, and they will guide the techniques for the implementation process.

Implementation of relevant techniques for further analysis

After the investigation in of remote sensing techniques, the most commonly used methods will need to be ascertained through a thorough investigation to ascertain its feasibility and viability. Each technique would remain compared with the established efficacy concerning other techniques. The findings will bring forth consistency and thus suggest the best techniques remain implemented.

Set up of independent test of developed models

The setup of an independent test of developed models ought to be done after the establishment of the past, the existing and the possible and viable means that could remain used in remote sensing. The outcome is then bound to bring forth the building models. The test should be designed to measure the deviation points from the past techniques and the current techniques and establish the possible benefits that can be accrued by fully embracing remote sensing.

Comparison of processing techniques

The use of implemented processing techniques should first, be tested using the independent quality testing that remained developed in the immediate previous task. The environments in which the testing will be carried out ought to be standard and cover a wide array of possible shortcomings in the exploration of Uranium. It is bound to help find out the possible solutions of handling the shortcomings.

Documentation of the workflow and implementation

In a move to ensure that the work conducted throughout the project becomes useful to the mining industry and more research that gets done in the future, it is vital to document this work. Additionally, it should be made open and available for the benefit of the general public. Once the stated gets done, more research in this area will bound to happen and thus an improvement in the industry.

Estimated work timeline

Tasks Duration
Task 1 Week 1 and week 2
Task 2 Week 3 and week 4
Task 3 Weeks 5,6,7 and 8
Task 4 Weeks 9 and 10
Task 5 Week 3 to week 12

References

Clarke, M. (2011). Australia’s Uranium Trade. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate.

Dennis, S. (2012). Advanced Geochemistry. Delhi: Research World.

Hughes, F. (2011). Geology of the Mineral Deposits of Australia and Papua New Guinea. Parkville: Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.

Prost, G. (2014). Remote Sensing for Geoscientists. Boca Raton: CRC Press.

Robinson, L. (2009). Modern Mineral Exploration in New South Wales. Sydney: Robinson & Partners.

Savinelli, P. (1983). Australian Mineral Production and Policy. New York: Springer.

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IvyPanda. (2020, August 16). Remote Sensing in Australia's Uranium Exploration. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/remote-sensing-in-australias-uranium-exploration/

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"Remote Sensing in Australia's Uranium Exploration." IvyPanda, 16 Aug. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/remote-sensing-in-australias-uranium-exploration/.

1. IvyPanda. "Remote Sensing in Australia's Uranium Exploration." August 16, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/remote-sensing-in-australias-uranium-exploration/.


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IvyPanda. "Remote Sensing in Australia's Uranium Exploration." August 16, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/remote-sensing-in-australias-uranium-exploration/.

References

IvyPanda. 2020. "Remote Sensing in Australia's Uranium Exploration." August 16, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/remote-sensing-in-australias-uranium-exploration/.

References

IvyPanda. (2020) 'Remote Sensing in Australia's Uranium Exploration'. 16 August.

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